Febreze car air freshener leaks allegedly damaged dashboards, according to a lawsuit filed by three customers who claim the devices leak because they are defective.
But in a motion to dismiss the class action, Procter & Gamble (P&G) argues the plaintiffs are depending on "three alleged incidents and some hearsay Internet posts."
According to the Febreze car air freshener lawsuit, the fresheners suffer from an unspecified “design and/or manufacturing defect” that allegedly cause the clips to “break, degrade, malfunction or leak oil and/or other substances" onto the dashboards.
The plaintiffs who sued claim P&G uses false and misleading advertising to sell the car air fresheners that clip to air vents to deodorize the vehicles.
The company allegedly failed to warn customers that leaking car air fresheners can damage the dashboards and other parts of the interiors. The plaintiffs also allege customers have complained about damage from leaking car air fresheners since at least 2015.
Based on court documents, plaintiff Angela Davis purchased a Febreze car air freshener for her Nissan truck, but the device began to leak oil or some other substance and caused damage to her new truck.
Plaintiff Deanna Lopez purchased a Febreze car air freshener for her 2005 Toyota Prius, but the air freshener allegedly leaked fluid onto the dashboard and other interior surfaces which caused the dash to melt. (Photo above)
And plaintiff Ursula Riley purchased a Febreze car air freshener that allegedly leaked onto interior surfaces and melted the vehicle's air vent. She said she was quoted a price of $400 to repair the damage.
Motion to Dismiss the Febreze Car Air Freshener Lawsuit
Attorneys for P&G say the entire class action was filed alleging after "some undisclosed period of use," the Febreze Car air fresheners broke.
The motion to dismiss alleges allegations the car air fresheners “break, degrade, [or] malfunction” are not enough to sustain the plaintiff's claims.
P&G argues courts across the country routinely dismiss lawsuits like this that merely allege, "the product broke so it must be defective."
The plaintiffs have allegedly failed to show P&G’s knowledge of an alleged defect, which means the company could not have misrepresented the quality of the car air fresheners or omitted information if it had no knowledge of "some alleged, undefined defect."
Allegations the Febreze car air fresheners “work in virtually every vehicle,” are “safe to use,” are “long lasting,” “eliminate tough odors” and are “mess free” are allegedly "mere puffery" as found in advertising.
In addition, P&G argues the plaintiffs have not alleged how any of these claims are false or how they relate to allegations the air fresheners might one day “leak.”
P&G says it makes no representation the car air fresheners are "immune to breakage and/or leaking, whether due to misuse, improper storage, or damage from external influences."
The plaintiffs claim they reviewed the packaging before using the air fresheners, even referencing statements on the packaging. But the motion to dismiss alleges the plaintiffs seemed to have forgotten where the packaging says, “Avoid direct contact with plastics/dashboard as damage may occur.”
"Plaintiffs implausibly allege they 'relied on the absence of any warning or disclosure.' Aside from being conclusory, Plaintiffs’ contradictory 'pick-and-choose' allegations are insufficient to sustain their fraud-based claims." - Attorneys for P&G
P&G also alleges implied warranty claims fail because not a single plaintiff alleges the Febreze car air fresheners did not operate as intended.
The motion to dismiss says just because the three plaintiffs may have experienced alleged air freshener leakage for some unknown reason does not render the devices unfit for their intended purpose, which is to freshen the air.
Unjust enrichment claims must also allegedly be dismissed because the plaintiffs received the benefit of the bargain because they received exactly what was promised: Air fresheners that freshened the air.
Consumer complaints cited in the Febreze class action allegedly don't prove P&G knew of any alleged "undefined" defects. Out of 10 customer complaints, only three were posted before one of the plaintiffs purchased the car air freshener. And some of the 10 complaints were posted on third-party websites.
In addition, none of the complainants claim they contacted P&G about any alleged problems.
And even if P&G knew about complaints, being aware of a few customer complaints allegedly doesn't establish the company knew about alleged defects.
The Febreze car air freshener lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Eureka Division: Davis, et al., v. The Procter & Gamble Company.
The plaintiffs are represented by Ahdoot & Wolfson, PC.